Post #55 – Women’s Memoirs, Rosie the Riveter – Matilda Butler and Kendra Bonnett
Memoir Writers, Storytellers and Journalers, All Benefit from Careful Word Choice: Our Example, #44
Here’s the 44th word on our list that can first be attributed to the period of World War II between 1940 and 1945.
I was tempted to skip over today’s word. I’d never heard of it but decided to do more research. It turns out that Bailey bridges, designed by an Englishman, were used extensively by both American and British forces during World War II. More than 3000 were built in Sicily and Italy alone. And today, this type of bridge is still used when there is a need for a bridge that can be constructed quickly. Be sure to read about this bridge on the Internet. It has a fascinating history and current usage.
Bailey bridge, n.
Etymology: < name of Donald (later Sir D.) Coleman Bailey
Definition: A bridge of lattice steel designed for rapid assembly from prefabricated standard parts, used esp. in military operations.
First use as listed in Oxford English Dictionary:
1944 Hutchinson’s Pict. Hist. War Apr.–Sept. 269 The story of the development of the Bailey bridging equipment?has been revealed.
1944 Times 14 Dec. 3/3 A Bailey bridge more than 1,000 ft. long has been built over the Chindwin near Kalewa.
1945 Finito! Po Valley Campaign 7 The stuff for Bailey Bridges.
1945 Finito! Po Valley Campaign 23 Engineers toiled ceaselessly to span the river with Baileys.
Background for Our (Mostly) Daily Word from World War II
A memoir writer carefully chooses her words. That’s the only way to convey meaning and emotion to readers. There is another level of word choice that a writer needs to consider. Words that are appropriate for the time period.
When Kendra and I were writing our collective memoir, Rosie’s Daughters: The “First Woman To” Generation Tells Its Story, we kept a book nearby that contained a new word that gained popularity in each year. This became a vital resource as we tried to find ways to recreate the different decades.
Let’s say you are writing about your childhood and using dialogue. Not only should you use the language level appropriate for your age, you should also be careful to not include words that weren’t even in the dictionary at that time.
Introducing Words First Known to be Used During World War II
This year, we’re going to bring you words introduced during World War II — 1940-1945. We continue our fascination with that period after our research for writing the memoir Rosie’s Daughters. Words from an era help to define that time period. We’ll post a word almost every day — always late in the afternoon. Be sure to check in regularly.
Where do we find these words? The Oxford English Dictionary, of course. OED is a resource for all writers, containing information not just about meaning and pronunciation but also about changes in our language, history and origins of more than 500,000 words. It traces the original public use of words through about 2.5 million quotations.
It is possible to search by year when the word was first introduced. By putting in 1940-1945, we found 2,122 words with a first documented use during World War II. We’re sharing many of these with you this year.
We’ve had many requests for one over the years, but knew it would take a lot of research to do this right. Finally, this fall, we tackled the job. To learn more about the history of Rosie the Riveter’s pin, actually her employment badge, and how we created it, just click here.
ROSIE THE RIVETER ZIPPER PULL. We fell in love with our Rosie the Riveter pin and wore it everyplace. It became my favorite piece of jewelry. It was a great way to get into conversations with people when they asked what I had on my collar. But then winter came and my Rosie pin was buried under a coat.
Then we came up with the idea of a Rosie the Riveter Zipper Pull. It’s just a little smaller than our Rosie Collar Pin — perfect to wear on all your jackets and vests. We never leave the house without one one.
They’re fun, inexpensive, and great conversation starters. Wear one proudly to declare that you are an empowered woman. To order yours today, just click here.
By the way, if you are interested in Rosie the Riveter’s red and white polka-dot bandana, be sure to visit our store. Rosie represents the 18 million women who were working during World War II — the symbol of strength, courage, and empowerment.
If you want the official look, the official red and white polka dot scarf, we’ve got what you are looking for because no one else offers a true Rosie the Riveter bandana. Our bandana is a generous 27 x 27 inches so you can tie it just like Rosie the Riveter did. You also get more white polka dots — large ones just like Rosie wore — and in a random pattern. We studied her bandana to make sure we were offering you an authentic look. And finally, we’re pleased to say it is Made in the USA.